Thirteen Conversations About One Thing

Rated 4.0 Writer-director Jill Sprecher (Clockwatchers) explores the nature of happiness, interconnectedness and how we react to random events (from the dramatic to the mundane) that can reshape our lives in this intriguing talk-fest. Four groups of people (attorneys, academics, housekeepers and insurance claims adjusters) struggle with internal demons, layoffs, obsession, illness, failure, success, redemption, karma, infidelity, resentment, soured relationships and guilt in a smart, elliptic, character-driven story that ends where it begins—with Frank Sinatra asking us from the jukebox to “put on a happy face.” Sprecher plays with and seriously tackles issues linked to fate, professional and personal ruts, deception, despair and hope with an excellent cast that includes Alan Arkin (“Show me a happy man and I’ll show you a disaster ready to happen.”), Matthew McConaughey, Clea DuVall and John Turturro. .